Tuesday, February 27 2024

The first NBA in-season tournament tips off Friday with group play and concludes Dec. 9 with the championship game. All 30 teams will participate in the group stage in three groups of five teams within each conference.

The groups were decided by a random draw in July. Here are the groups:

Eastern Conference

Group A

Atlanta Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Philadelphia 76ers

Group B

Charlotte Hornets
Miami Heat
Milwaukee Bucks
New York Knicks
Washington Wizards

Group C

Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls
Orlando Magic
Toronto Raptors

Western Conference

Group A

Los Angeles Lakers
Memphis Grizzlies
Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers
Utah Jazz

Group B

Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets
Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers
New Orleans Pelicans

Group C

Golden State Warriors
Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder
Sacramento Kings
San Antonio Spurs

When does the NBA in-season tournament start?

Group play begins Friday. Group play games will be held only on Tuesdays and Fridays in November, except for Nov. 7, which is Election Day and no games will be played. Each team will play four group games: two home games and two road games. All games will count toward regular-season records and statistics.

NBA in-season tournament group play schedule

All game times listed in ET.


Cavaliers at Pacers, 7 p.m.
Knicks at Bucks, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Wizards at Heat, 8 p.m.
Nets at Bulls, 8 p.m.
Warriors at Thunder, 8 p.m.
Grizzlies at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m.
Mavericks at Nuggets, 10 p.m. (ESPN)

Nov. 10

76ers at Pistons, 7 p.m.
Hornets at Wizards, 7 p.m.
Nets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Pelicans at Rockets, 8 p.m.
Jazz at Grizzlies, 8 p.m.
Timberwolves at Spurs, 8 p.m.
Clippers at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.
Thunder at Kings, 10 p.m.
Lakers at Suns, 10 p.m. (ESPN)

Nov. 14

Heat at Hornets, 7 p.m.
Hawks at Pistons, 7 p.m.
Pacers at 76ers, 7 p.m.
Spurs at Thunder, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)
Magic at Nets, 7:30 p.m.
Mavericks at Pelicans, 8 p.m.
Trail Blazers at Jazz, 9 p.m.
Timberwolves at Warriors, 10 p.m.
Clippers at Nuggets, 10 p.m. (TNT)
Grizzlies at Lakers, 10:30 p.m.

Nov. 17

Bucks at Hornets, 7 p.m.
Knicks at Wizards, 7 p.m.
Kings at Spurs, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
76ers at Hawks, 7:30 p.m.
Pistons at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m.
Celtics at Raptors, 7:30 p.m.
Magic at Bulls, 8 p.m.
Nuggets at Pelicans, 8 p.m.
Lakers at Trail Blazers, 10 p.m.
Suns at Jazz, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Rockets at Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

Nov. 21

Raptors at Magic, 7 p.m.
Cavaliers at 76ers, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)
Pacers at Hawks, 7:30 p.m.
Trail Blazers at Suns, 9 p.m.
Jazz at Lakers, 10 p.m. (TNT)

Nov. 24

Celtics at Magic, 2:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Suns at Memphis, 5 p.m. (NBA TV)
Heat at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Bulls at Raptors, 7:30 p.m.
Pistons at Pacers, 8 p.m.
Nuggets at Rockets, 8 p.m.
Wizards at Bucks, 8 p.m.
Kings at Timberwolves, 8 p.m.
Spurs at Warriors, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Pelicans at Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

Nov. 28

Bucks at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)
Bulls at Celtics, 7:30 p.m.
Raptors at Nets, 7:30 p.m.
Hawks at Cavaliers, 7:30 p.m.
Hornets at Knicks, 7:30 p.m.
Thunder at Timberwolves, 8 p.m.
Rockets at Mavericks, 8:30 p.m.
Warriors at Kings, 10 p.m. (TNT)

How does the NBA in-season tournament work?

The team with the best record in each group and two wild-card teams will advance to the knockout stage for a total of eight teams. The wild cards will be the team in each conference that finished with the best record in group play but was second in its group.

The four-game knockout round consists of single-elimination quarterfinals on Dec. 4-5 hosted by teams with the best group-play record. The quarterfinals will be televised on TNT with doubleheaders on Dec. 4-5.

The semifinals and championship will be held at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 7 and 9, respectively. These games also will be televised nationally. The first semifinal will be on ESPN at 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 7, with the second game following at 9 p.m. ET on TNT. The championship will be at 8:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 9 and televised on ABC.

The championship game is the only game that will not count toward the regular-season record and statistics. For the two teams, it will count as Game 83, one more than every other teams’ 82-game slate.

The teams that do not advance to the knockout round will play two additional games on Dec. 6 and 8 to fill out their 82-game schedule. The teams that lose in the quarterfinals of the knockout round will play one additional regular-season game on Dec. 8.

A prize pool will be allocated to teams advancing to the knockout round, and the champion earns the NBA Cup trophy. An MVP of the in-season tournament will be named along with an All-Tournament Team based on performance throughout the group and knockout rounds.

What makes the NBA in-season tournament different than normal regular-season games?

There is a prize money pool for the teams that advance to at least the quarterfinals. Players on quarterfinal teams receive $50,000, with those who make it to the semifinals earning $100,000. Players on the runner-up team receive $200,000, and players on the in-season tournament-winning team earn $500,000.

Additionally, the NBA developed a special basketball court design for every team to use during group play and the knockout-round quarterfinals. These courts are completely painted in a color scheme distinct to each team with a unified design template. This is the first time in league history that an alternate court has been used for all 30 teams. The Celtics, Bulls, Lakers, Pelicans and Trail Blazers have never played on an alternate court in their franchise histories.

The NBA is on the verge of a new media rights deal, and the in-season tournament is something it can sell to television partners or streaming companies. The ramifications of a new big-money deal would benefit everyone involved with the NBA.

Read more on the NBA in-season tournament:

Source: Yahoo Sports


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